The Peace of Wild Things — Wendell Barry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
WEEK of PEACE: DAY 8
Sun, Dec 5
Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace —
in peace because they trust in you. — Isaiah 26:3
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them
light has shined.— Isaiah 9:2
How do you cultivate peace through this practice of reading, reflecting, and lighting candles?
Perhaps the first truth is that by setting aside time to dive into any spiritual practice, you make a commitment to yourself and your loved ones. You honor yourself and others by setting apart time, space, and attention to be present to the inner, spiritual part of your life. You cultivate this aspect of wellbeing. You give it space and priority.
When you ignite the first and second candles, you focus on wellbeing in relationship to self and others. This simple act is one step in being present. Let the light of peace warm you. — Rev Gail
No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us,
for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind.
When we create peace and harmony and balance
in our minds, we will find it in our lives.
— Louise Hay
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
— Kahlil Gibran
Thurs, Dec 10 – DAY 12
Communal peace requires a different form of attention and advocacy. By our choices, with our voices, through our actions, we foster local peace. While some people may be in positions to affect national and global peace through high-level policy and practices, many of us shape peace through regional and neighborhood-based activism and engagement.
— Rev Gail
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. — Matthew 5:9
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” — John 20:21
Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. — John F. Kennedy
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
— Desmond Tutu
Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that
we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all
that they are. —Hafsat Abiola
Tue, Dec 8 – DAY 10
Peace within relationships may include committing to renewed availability to people in your life. Especially in these days, it’s easy to be too busy. To be distracted. To put deadlines and schedules and errands first, rather than focusing on the significant people who are essential to your wellbeing within emotionally intimate connections.
Or perhaps you’re with some folks constantly, care-giving or quarantined or working and schooling at home. Maybe you’re together in ways that make it challenging to step back and appreciate these special people in your life.
Make dates when the phone and computer and other screens and monitors aren’t drawing away your attention. Choose settings and activities that draw those with whom you’re spending time into more conversational, companionable roles.
Listen. Listen actively. Make eye contact. Repeat the phrases and themes you hear from the one with whom you’ve set aside time. Give your whole attention to the experience. Mirror body language.
Relax. Laugh. Have fun. Do a puzzle. Play a game. Cook together. Walk. Sip hot beverages. Share poetry aloud with each other. Discuss a book or article you’ve read. Play with a pet. Learn something new together: take an online class or try a recipe. Spend time in ways that are meaningful and rejuvenating for each of you. Such sharing may happen in person or across remote connections. Peace is a process, even in relationships. — Rev Gail
Peace be within your walls. — Psalm 122:7
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. — Psalm 85:10
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
— attributed to Lao-Tse
Sometimes you need to know that you have good people at your back when things go awry in your life. Good relationships can bring peace of mind, not to mention longer life, companionship, health, happiness, and a host of other benefits. At bottom, we are social creatures who need each other. — Meg Selig